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14 May 2019
Perera scores five for US on day one as hosts Mexico also win
Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship Puerto Vallarta 2019 kicks off as North American sides chase World Cup qualification
Wins for Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica, Panama, USA and Mexico have started to give the groups some shape after day one of the 2019 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship Puerto Vallarta.
First-timers Bonaire suffered the heaviest defeat of the day against the United States, while hosts Mexico gave the home crowd what they came for with four goals and three points.
The first match of day one saw the hosts of the last FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup take on Antigua and Barbuda.
Bahamas v Antigua and Barbuda (Group C)
Bahamas kicked off the 2019 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship Puerto Vallarta against Antigua and Barbuda, with a simple goal: qualification to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2019.
This time around, they would have to fight for qualification to the global showdown, which is to be held in Paraguay later this year, as last time they enjoyed automatic qualification as the host nation.
Gary Joseph got them off to a good start though, as his acrobatic volley turned in a long cross to make it 1-0 after just a minute. An almost immediate response came in the form of Elvis Thomas, who drove in a low shot to level up.
But the Bahamas found themselves ahead again when Munnings teed himself up for a sublime overhead.
Antigua and Barbuda had a chance to draw level once more, but Steven Hughes blasted a dangerously-placed freekick wide. Francois managed to squeeze in a third for Bahamas before the break.
It took no time at all for the boys in blue to extend their lead, as St Fleur blasted a volley in directly from kick off. Luiz Escobar’s men were running away with the tie, and Williams added a fifth, pulling off an awesome bicycle kick.
The task of a comeback was made even more difficult for Antigua and Barbuda when Francois stretched to poke past the onrushing Samuel Watley in the Antigua net. Kevin Richards rose high above the Bahamas defence to nod home and make it 6-2 but almost immediately Williams struck again from distance to restore the five-goal advantage.
Chevon Moore put away a turning shot for the Antiguans, and then with just two minutes on the clock, Murray beat the keeper to a spilled ball to get his name on the scoresheet.
At 7-4 the game suddenly looked a little less one-sided, but time was ticking and eventually ran out for Beto Lima’s men. An opening three points in the bag for Bahamas represents a positive first step for their 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup campaign.
Goals: 1-0: Joseph, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Thomas, min. 10 (1); 2-1: Munnings, min. 7 (1); 3-1: Francois, min. 4 (1); 4-1: St Fleur, min. 11 (2); 5-1: Williams, min. 5 (2); 6-1: Francois, min. 10 (3); 6-2: Richards, min. 8 (3); 7-2: Williams, min. 7 (3); 7-3: Moore, min. 4 (3); 7-4: Murray, min. 2 (3);
Trinidad & Tobago v Turks and Caicos Islands (Group B)
Neither Trinidad & Tobago or Turks and Caicos Islands had ever made it to a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, and they opened this qualification campaign with hopes of a maiden tournament in Paraguay as effective motivation.
Trinidad and Tobago opened the scoring when Augustin saw his long range shot slip between the legs of Turks goalkeeper, Brooks.
But Turks and Caicos Islands fought well to keep their opposition’s advantage to just one for most of the period, but Coker hit one from his own penalty area to see his shot take a fortunate bounce to make it two just before the break.
The goalkeeper claimed his second goal after the restart, which was less fortune and more pure brilliance, as he powered in Trinidad and Tobago’s third off the opposing crossbar.
Kevin Woodley the set himself up for a well-hit bicycle kick, pushing the lead to four goals.
Despite creating some dangerous chances, Turks and Caicos Islands were denied time and again by effective defending and shrewd goalkeeping. The third period got underway with a way back looking less and less likely for the men in navy blue and Hospedales drove in a deflected shot to make it five.
There was just time for Woodley to complete a brace when a defensive clearance which turned into a sublime shot, as the ball sailed the length of the pitch into the bottom corner.
This is how the match ended, and Trinidad and Tobago move to the top of the table with a comfortable three points on the opening day.
Goals: 1-0: Augustin, min. 9 (1); 2-0: Coker, min. 1 (1); 3-0: Coker, min. 10 (2); 4-0: Woodley, min. 5 (2); 5-0: Hospedales, min. 10 (3); 6-0: Woodley, min. 0 (3);
Costa Rica v Jamaica (Group A)
After missing out on the last FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Bahamas, Costa Rica started the 2019 qualifying campaign positively, opening the scoring against Jamaica, who are yet to qualify for the World Cup.
Roger Mora got the Costa Ricans off the mark early, poking the ball from underneath a pile of bodies into the net. Jamaica looked dangerous in front of goal but couldn’t find a breakthrough to draw level with their rivals.
Instead, the next goal saw the men in white double their advantage, as Danny Johnson found space to score a second and Jamaica trailed going into the first break.
After the regroup they came back onto the sand strongly, and Renae Lloyd belted a freekick home to half the deficit. They kept up the pressure on Jefferson Martins’ men until eventually they found an equalizer, and it was a beauty, hit by Ryan Powell from deep in his own half to brush the post on the way into the net.
Costa Rica snatched the lead once more though, when Sanchez knelt low to meet a long throw with his head and turn it past the Kirk Porter. The Jamaican keeper was caught out once more just a minute later when Calero beat him at the near post with a low drive and with time almost up Jamaica had let the game slip.
It could have been five when Costa Rica hit the post with literally a second to go, but when the whistle finally sounded, the win was sealed. Could the Costa Ricans be heading to their third FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup?
Goals: 1-0: Mora, min. 9 (1); 2-0: Johnson, min. 5 (1); 2-1: Lloyd, min. 9 (2); 2-2: Powell, min. 8 (3); 3-2: Sanchez, min. 2 (3); 4-2: Calero, min. 2 (3);
US Virgin Islands v Panama (Group B)
After having gotten a taste for playing on the biggest beach soccer stage of all in the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas, Panama were looking to open their account here in Puerto Vallarta with a win against US Virgin Islands.
They started well, as Xavier Garcia pounced on the rebound from a saved Maquensi penalty to put Panama ahead after just a minute of play. US Virgin Island tried to keep up with the men in red but Maquensi soon made up for his penalty scuff by putting away a spinning shot under pressure from the defender and then some beautiful team play saw the number ten double his tally within the same minute.
Rafael Garcia added to the lead with a brace of his own just after the first break, and then Eliecer, the third Garcia to get on the scoresheet, took the Panamanian tally to six.
US Virgin Islands were getting left behind in this race and the frustration began to show as a few rash challenges offered Enrique Shubert Perez’s men more scoring opportunities from set pieces.
Early in the third period, Rafael Garcia was on hand to smash home a saved shot and then Maquensi netted his third of the game , which was an exquisite bicycle kick.
Leto flew in at the back post to head in a consolation goal for the US Virgin Islands but Ruy Da Silva’s men were out of time. As the whistle went, the final score stood at 1-8 with Panama taking an important first step to another World Cup.
Goals: 0-1: Garcia, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Maquensi, min. 0 (1); 0-3: Maquensi, min. 0 (1); 0-4: Rafael Garcia, min. 11 (2); 0-5: Rafael Garcia, min. 6 (2); 0-6: Eliecer Garcia, min. 5 (2); 0-7: Rafael Garcia, min. 10 (3); 0-8: Maquensi, min. 8 (3); 1-8: Leto, min. 3 (3);
Bonaire v USA (Group C)
The USA have a long history of qualifying for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup but they have been absent from the last two. They did, however, deliver a strong performance at the Intercontinental Cup Dubai 2018, in which they beat one of the world’s best teams in Spain, and took the last two World Cups’ runners-up up to extra time!
Bonaire, in their first ever participation in the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship, had something of a baptism of fire in facing an in-form US side…
The men in white struck almost immediately when Tanner Akol smashed an overhead against the sand to bounced the ball over the approaching keeper. Not long after, he took his second with a cool shot.
The big number seven, Nick Perera, netted an overhead of his own and then calmly converted a penalty to take the difference between the sides to four goals.
The second period began with Bonaire having a mountain to climb, and as the match drew on the USA showed no signs of slowing down or going easy on the new-comers. Futagaki scored first, then came a swift Mondragon double, a Leopoldo double, an Oscar Reyes goal and amongst the goalfest, Nick Perera completed his hat-trick.
At 0-11 going into the final 12 minutes, it was just a case of damage limitation for Bonaire and maybe trying to grab a consolation goal, which did come when Henrich Beaumont calmly slotted away a freekick.
Shortly after, Perera hit number four for himself and 12 for the team. As the final period of play came to a close, there was still time for Dos Santos to turn in from close-range and Perera to fire a rocket into the top corner from a freekick.
Well beaten, but surely with a lot of valuable experience gained, Bonaire will face Bahamas on Wednesday while the US will take on Antigua and Barbuda.
Goals: 0-1: Akol, min. 11 (1); 0-2: Akol, min. 9 (1); 0-3: Perera, min. 8 (1); 0-4: Perera, min. 5 (1); 0-5: Futagaki, min. 7 (2); 0-6: Mondragon, min. 5 (2); 0-7: Mondragon, min. 3 (2); 0-8: Leopoldo, min. 3 (2); 0-9: Perera, min. 1 (2); 0-10: Leopoldo, min. 0 (2); 0-11: Reyes, min. 0 (2); 1-11: Beaumont, min. 9 (3); 1-12: Perera, min. 9 (3); 1-13: Dos Santos, min. 3 (3); 1-14: Perera, min. 2 (3);
Guatemala v Mexico (Group A)
Former runners-up (2007) of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup opened their 2019 qualification campaign against a feisty Guatemala, who are still yet to compete at the global showpiece.
The first period was a tight affair and although chances were created, they weren’t taken and the score remained unchanged.
Guatemala did get the ball in the back of the next, but the goal was disallowed for a shove on the defender in the buildup. It was a dangerous foul to commit because Mexico hit the post with the awarded freekick but still a goal wouldn’t come.
The match spilled over into the second period where Mexico started to pressure their Guatemalans rivals, encouraged by the full stadium.
The first goal eventually appeared when Martinez rifled in a shot from distance, and just seconds after the restart Guatemala were dispossessed and the hosts scored again, this time through a clean hit from Villa.
With a healthy lead, Mexico controlled the game and in the final 12 minutes, Torres added his name to the match report with a powerful toed effort to make it four to the hosts.
Eventually time ran out for Guatemala, and Mexico took an important step towards qualifying to their FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup number six. Tomorrow they will take on Jamaica while Guatemala will face Costa Rica.
Goals: 0-1: Martinez, min. 6 (2); 0-2: Villa, min. 6 (2); 0-3: Villa, min. 4 (2); 0-4: Torres, min. 6 (3);
Monday 13th May
10:45 - Bahamas 7-4 Antigua and Barbuda (Group C)
12:00 - Trinidad & Tobago 6-0 Turks and Caicos Islands (Group B)
14:15 - Costa Rica 4-2 Jamaica (Group A)
15:30 - US Virgin Islands 1-8 Panama (Group B)
16:45 - Bonaire 1-14 USA (Group C)
18:00 - Guatemala 0-4 Mexico (Group A)
Tuesday 14th May
10:45 - Guadeloupe - Belize (Group D)
12:00 - Trinidad & Tobago - US Virgin Islands (Group B)
14:15 - Costa Rica - Guatemala (Group A)
15:30 - Guyana - El Salvador (Group D)
16:45 - Panama - Turks and Caicos Islands (Group B)
18:00 - Mexico - Jamaica (Group A)